Drag returns to Milledgeville: GC’s pride alliance holds semi-annual show at Buffington’s

Jennifer Crider, A&L Editor

On April 13, the GC Pride Alliance hosted the semi-annual drag show at downtown Milledgeville restaurant Buffingtons. 

“The energy was very good,” said Lily Murphy, junior mass communication major and Pride Alliance treasurer. “Everybody listened. It was a good crowd. It was a good tipping night, which I know, in the past, has been a problem.” 

There were performances from five students, as well as performances from three professional drag queens from the Macon drag group The Tribe. 

“This year, we actually had an even split between the drag queens and drag kings,” Murphy said. “There was four student drag kings, and there were three professional drag queens, and one student drag queen, which, as far as I am aware of, that is the first time I’ve seen that happen.” 

Caleb Rogers, freshman biology and Spanish double major, discovered his love for drag through participating in these shows. 

“I was interested in drag in high school, but I had never done it before the show last semester,” Rogers said. “I was excited because I have performed on stage before with regular acting stuff. So, it was not super new to me. It was just a different format of art style. Overall, I was more excited than nervous.”

Rogers, who is also known as the drag queen “Tina,” has become a crowd favorite at the past two shows.

“The name ‘Tina’ came from my first day of college,” Rogers said. “There was a hypnotist show the first night that I was here, and I volunteered to go on stage. One of the things the hypnotist made us do was make our own superhero. The first name I thought of was ‘Tina.’”

Through drag, Rogers has developed a sense of community along with more confidence within his abilities as a performer. 

“The other queens were helpful when I had to change costumes for the show,” Rogers said. “They helped me out when I needed help. At the end, there was that whole thing when we all got up on stage, and I liked the support that everyone gave. I needed it. I needed some motivation and inspiration.”

The preparation for these types of shows is quite extensive for the queens, with them having to focus on perfecting not only their dance moves but also their hair, makeup, costumes and nails. 

“From start to finish, for rigorously planning, three weeks ahead of time, planning out when I was going to practice with nails on,” Rogers said. “The actual day of, it took me three hours: two for makeup and one to get dressed and do my hair. It took me about 10 minutes to take off later that night.”

Although this show has been a GC tradition since the early 2000s, it did not always take place in Buffingtons. 

“It was changed over to Buffingtons in either 2010 or 2012,” Murphy said. “It was usually at Russell or Peabody Auditorium or Magnolia. But a student that had already been performing drag outside of GC thought it would be cool to do a community show, and the drag queens can actually go into the crowd at Buffs. We’ve held it there ever since.” 

Each semester, this experience unifies GC students and the local community through a night filled with costumes and dancing. 

“It was really fun,” said Collin Zabroske, senior mass communication major. “It felt really nice to be in a queer environment because GC lacks that, so it is nice when it actually happens. The vibe was inclusive and accepting. I felt free to be myself.”